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Coming of Age in Ancient Greece


Coming of Age in Ancient Greece
September 14–December 5, 2004


The Premiere Presentation exhibition:
Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past.
This is the first major exhibition to examine the lives of children in ancient Greece from birth to adulthood, providing insight into their roles in the family and in religious rituals, their education, and even their toys and pets. More than 150 objects and images—including painted vases, sculptures, grave monuments, ancient toys, coin banks, and baby feeders—will bring the experiences of ancient Greek children to life and offer a unique perspective on the history of childhood. This special Premiere Presentation is one of the most important shows of the year.


September 14–December 5, 2004


The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California


The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire (August 23-December 14, 2003)
The Onassis Cultural Center in New York, New York (January 23-April 15, 2004)
The Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio (May 25-August 1, 2004)

Coming of Age was organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, and supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA).


The exhibition will include a special "Family Zone," a hands-on learning area for families, where children can play with reproductions of toys seen in the exhibition, dress up in ancient Greek costumes, make rubbings of the Greek alphabet, or write on a wax tablet. Detailed replicas of musical instruments will be on view along with headphones for listening to the sounds they make, and lyres will be available to hold and strum. There will also be a quiet space for families to read selected books about classical Greek myths and life in ancient Greece.


A special Coming of Age exhibition web site will launch on in September 2004. This is the first Getty exhibition web site designed especially with kids and families in mind. It features a fun and interactive presentation about ancient Greek games, schooling, myth, ceremony, and family relationships. Kids and adults can play knucklebones online and act as art detectives to decode stories depicted on a Greek vase.


Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past
By Jenifer Neils and John H. Oakley
Contributions by Katherine W. Hart, Lesley A. Beaumont, Helene Foley, Mark Golden, Jill Korbin, Jeremy Rutter, and H.A. Shapiro. This is the first English-language study to examine the imagery and artifacts relating to childhood in ancient Greece. The 333-page book explores what was universal and unique about childhood during the period and also discusses childhood's effects on Greek life and culture. Published by Yale University Press in association with the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College. (Cloth: $65; paper: $40) Available in the Getty Bookstore or by calling 310-440-7059.


The Swallow Song
This original theatrical production is commissioned by the Getty to complement the exhibition and funded by the Villa Council. Adapted, directed by, and starring Lydia Koniordou, long considered to be one of the finest classical Greek actresses of her generation, the play is composed of scenes enacting some of the most important dilemmas faced during childhood. Costume and set design are by the internationally renowned Dionysis Fotopoulos, with translation by Oliver Taplin.
October 21, 22, and 23 at 8:00 p.m., and October 24 at 3:00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center.
Tickets ($28; students/seniors $22) available beginning September 1 at the Museum Information Desk or by calling 310-440-7300.


All events are free and are held in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. Seating reservations are required. For reservations and information, please call (310) 440-7300 or visit Tickets are available on-site or by phone


Janet Grossman, associate curator of antiquities, leads a gallery talk on the exhibition. No reservations required. Meet under the staircase in the Museum Entrance Hall.
Tuesdays, September 28 and November 16, 1:30 p.m. Exhibitions Pavilion


One-hour exhibition overviews, led by gallery teachers and curators, are offered Tuesdays through Sundays at 1:30 p.m. beginning September 21. Meet under the stairs in the Museum Entrance Hall.


Antiquities Childhood Series
She Doesn't Look Her Age: Child and Adult in Ancient Greek Art
Ada Cohen, associate professor and chair of the art history department at Dartmouth College, discusses various strategies for representing age in ancient Greek art. In particular, she will explore pictorial conventions that seem to have negotiated the ever-shifting borderline between childhood and adulthood.
September 23, 2004, 7 p.m.

Jenifer Neils, the Ruth Coulter Heede professor of art history and professor of classics, Case Western Reserve University, talks about the representation of girl's rituals in ancient Greek art.
Thursday, October 28, 7:00 p.m.

Jens-Arne Dickman, Akademeischer Rat, Institut für Klassische Archaologie, Universitat Heidelberg, talks about childhood in ancient Greece.
Thursday, November 4, 7:00 p.m.


Talks are held at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. in the Exhibitions Pavilion. Sign up at the Museum Information Desk beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Marni McGee, a children's book writer whose titles include historical fiction, award-winning picture books, and two nonfiction volumes entitled The Ancient Roman World and The Ancient Near Eastern World, discusses the exhibition.
Friday, September 24

Jane Rosenberg, Director of the Pacific Oaks Children's School and an expert on child development, discusses the exhibition.
Friday, October 29


A day of music, dance, storytelling, games, and workshops centered on the childhood experiences of many cultures. The festival brings some of L.A.'s finest young performers to the stage and explores the stories and myths of classical Greece.
October 3, 2004, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

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Maureen McGlynn
Getty Communications Dept.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Grant Program. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs are based at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

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